The CrEAM Network funded by EPSRC is led by Professor Allan Walton from the University of Birmingham and Professor Frances Wall from Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, together with a strategic advisory board. The primary purpose of the network is to create an understanding of how to safeguard UK industry against potential shortages of strategic and critical materials.
The network was established to provide a forum to bring together specialists from across the entire UK supply chain in critical materials to develop strategies to mitigate supply risks of crucial elements and materials.
To address this growing concern of securing raw materials the EU carries out a criticality assessment every three years; previously the UK has considered its materials strategy as part of the EU, in light of the recent Brexit decision it is imperative that the UK creates a blueprint for securing a long-term stable supply of materials deemed vital to its industrial strategy. The CrEAM Network aims to catalyse the formation of strategic collaborations, make policy recommendations to UK government and propose a comprehensive ‘UK Elements Strategy’.
Professor Allan Walton
CrEAM Principal Investigator
Allan Walton runs the Magnetic Materials Research Group (MMG) at the University of Birmingham.
He has an extensive portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects aligned to the University of Birmingham strategies on advanced materials and related manufacturing processes and has received international recognition for his work on manufacturing and recycling of critical magnetic materials.
He has delivered influential briefings to audiences in the UK, Europe, Japan and the US, which have led to major funding and policy decisions in the areas of critical materials and their future availability for a range of industrial applications.
Professor Frances Wall
Frances Wall is Professor of Applied Mineralogy at Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter. She is the Principal Investigator of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Technology Metals (Met4Tech), bringing together researchers and partners from across the value chain, and the ERDF-funded Deep Digital Cornwall project. Other recent projects include SoS RARE (www.sosrare.org) and project HiTechAlkCarb (www.alkcarb.org).
Frances is expert on carbonatites and associated commodities, including REE, niobium, tantalum and phosphate deposits and is interested in responsible mining including ethical sourcing of metals, regional development and public perception of mining. Frances was previously Head of Camborne School of Mines 2008-2014 and was recently awarded the Geological Society of London’s William Smith Medal for applied geology for 2019.
Dr Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson is Reader in Inorganic and Materials Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham, and Principal Investigator for the Faraday Institution ReLiB project dedicated to the development of new technology for efficient end of life management of automotive lithium ion batteries. The synthesis and development of improved materials for energy applications has been the major focus of his research for over two decades, with particular interests in ion mobility in hydrogen storage materials and related lithium and proton electrolyte systems, and the efficient husbandry of the earth’s elemental resources.
Dr Vicky Mann
CrEAM Network Coordinator
Vicky is a materials scientist with a multi-disciplinary background. She processes extensive experience in the processing and recycling of rare earth magnetic materials as well as hydrogen technologies.